Minimum wage is the
lowest wage rate an employer can pay an employee. Most employees are
eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time, casual
employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate
or salary. Some employees have jobs that are exempt from the minimum wage
provisions of the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).
(See the Special
Rule Tool for information on these job
Minimum Wage Rates
Minimum Wage Rate
March 31, 2009
March 31, 2010
Current wage rate
General Minimum Wage
Student Minimum Wage
Liquor Servers Minimum Wage
Hunting and Fishing Guides Minimum Wage
Rate for working less than five consecutive hours in
for working five or more hours in a day whether or not the
hours are consecutive
(110 per cent of
the general minimum wage)
General minimum wage - This rate
applies to most employees.
Student wage - This rate applies to
students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school
is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays.
Liquor servers wage - This hourly rate
applies to employees who serve liquor directly to customers or guests in
licensed premises as a regular part of their work. "Licensed premises" are
businesses for which a license or permit has been issued under the Liquor
Hunting and fishing guides wage - The
minimum wage for hunting and fishing guides is based on blocks of time
instead of by the hour. They get a minimum amount for working less than
five consecutive hours in a day, and a different amount for working five
hours or more in a day--whether or not the hours are consecutive.
Homeworkers wage - Homeworkers are
employees who do paid work in their own homes. For example, they may sew
clothes for a clothing manufacturer, answer telephone calls for a call
centre, or write software for a high-tech company. Note
that students of any age (including students under the age of 18 years)
who are employed as homeworkers must be paid the homeworker's minimum wage.
The minimum wage rates in each of the above categories and scheduled
annual increases are set out on the next page:
Example for calculating general minimum wage
One week in
April of 2010, Julia works 37.5 hours. She is paid on a weekly basis.
The minimum wage applicable to Julia is $10.25 per hour. Since compliance
with the minimum wage requirements is based on pay periods, Julia
must earn at
least$384.38 (37.5 hours × $10.25 per
hour = $384.38) in this work week (prior to deductions).
(Note that eating
periods are not included when counting
how many hours an employee works in a week).
Minimum Wage Calculation for Employees Who Earn Commission
If an employee's pay is based completely or partly on commission, it must
amount to at least the minimum wage for each hour the employee has worked.
A typical case:
Luba works on commission and has a weekly pay period. One week
in April 2010, she earned $150 in commission and worked 25 hours.
The minimum wage applicable to Luba is $10.25 an hour. The
minimum wage ($10.25) multiplied by the number of hours worked in the
pay period (25) is $256.25. Luba is owed the difference between
her commission pay ($150) and the required minimum wage ($256.25).
Luba’s employer owes her $106.25.
Note: where overtime hours are worked, the calculation is more
and job-specific exemptions and special rules may apply to some
salespeople who earn commission. Please see the Special
Rule Tool for details.
How Provision of Room and Board Affects Minimum Wage
For the purposes of ensuring that the applicable minimum wage has been
paid to an employee, an employer can take into account the provision of
room and board (meals). Room and board will only be deemed to have been
paid as wages if the employee has received the meals and occupied the
What employers can deduct for room and board
The amounts that an employer is deemed to have
paid to the employee as wages for room or board or both is set out below:
non-private (domestic workers only) $0.00
each meal $2.55
weekly maximum $53.55
Rooms and meals (weekly)
with private room $85.25
with non-private $69.40
non-private (domestic workers only) $53.55
Harvest workers (only) weekly housing
serviced housing $99.35
unserviced housing $73.30
If an employee is paid more than the minimum wage, the amount that room
and board can be deemed as wages paid to an employee can also increase.
However, an employer must have written authorization from the employee if
a higher amount is to be deemed paid as wages. In this case, the
wages--after wages have been deemed paid for the provision of room and
board but before any deductions are made--must be equal to or greater than
the minimum wage less the maximum amounts set out that can be deemed as
wages for room and board.
Employees Sent Home After Working Less Than Three Hours: The
When an employee who regularly works more than three hours a day is
required to report to work but works less than three hours, he or she must
be paid whichever of the following amounts is the highest:
three hours at the minimum wage,
the employee's regular wage for the time worked.
For example, if an employee who is a liquor
server is paid $10.00 an hour and works only two hours, he or she is
entitled to three hours at minimum wage (e.g.,
$8.90, the liquor servers minimum wage as of March 31, 2010 x 3 = $26.70)
instead of two hours at his or her regular wage ($10.00 x 2 = $20.00).
The rule does not apply to:
students (including students over 18 years of age)
employees whose regular shift is three hours or less
where the cause of the employee not being able to work at least three
hours was beyond the employer's control.
When the Minimum Wage Changes
If the minimum wage rate changes during a pay period, the pay period will
be treated as if it were two separate pay periods and the employee will be
entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those